Survey: Impact of Surgery on Lives of People with Epilepsy

Released: 11/18/2013 4:00 PM EST
Embargo expired: 12/8/2013 9:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: American Epilepsy Society (AES)
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Citations AES Annual Meeting December 2013

Newswise — Washington, DC, December 8 - Resective surgery is an effective treatment for dug-resistant epilepsy. To investigate the effect of epilepsy surgery on patients lives, researchers from the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit conducted a long-term retrospective follow up of surgical patients and correlated post-surgical psychosocial outcomes with seizure outcome and brain area surgically treated.

In a research report presented today at the American Epilepsy Society 67th Annual Meeting, the investigators conducted telephone interviews with more than half of all epilepsy surgery patients operated on at their center between 1993 and 2011. Of those contacted, 215 had undergone temporal lobe surgery and 38 had surgery in other brain areas. (Poster 3.249 / Abstract 1749424 –Long-term Post-operative Psychosocial Outcomes after Resective Surgery for Epilepsy.)

More than three–fourths of temporal lobe patients (78%) had a favorable surgical outcome (seizure free or having only rare disabling seizures), and over half of extra-temporal surgical patients (58%) had a similar outcome. Almost all of the patients (92%) considered the surgical treatment to have been worthwhile.

“Our study shows that resective epilepsy surgery not only yields favorable seizure outcomes but psychosocial outcomes, as well,” says Vibhangini S. Wasade, M.D., lead author of the study. “Following surgery, more patients were able to drive, and those with favorable seizure outcomes were more likely to be employed full-time and less likely to be taking antidepressants. Overall, the great majority expressed satisfaction in having epilepsy surgery.”

Half of the surgical patients (51%) were able to drive at the time of the survey, compared to 35% who were able to do so preoperatively. Patients with a favorable surgical outcome were more likely than those with less favorable outcomes to be currently driving (65% vs. 11%), more likely to be currently working (28% vs. 8%), and less likely to be taking antidepressant medication (24% vs. 47%).

Editors Note: Authors of this study will be available at a press briefing at 9:00 am (EDT), December 8, in the onsite pressroom, Room 209-A, Level 2 of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The call-in number for off-site journalists is 1-605-475-4000, passcode 521653#.

About epilepsy
The epilepsies affect 50 million people worldwide, including three million in the United States. It is the third most common neurological disorder after Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.

About the American Epilepsy Society (AES)
The American Epilepsy Society, based in West Hartford, CT, seeks to advance and improve the treatment of epilepsy through the promotion of epilepsy research and education for healthcare professionals. The Society’s annual meeting is the largest scientific meeting in epilepsy and each year attracts some 4,000 physicians, scientists and allied healthcare professionals from around the world.

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